The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Softbank Vision Fund (SBVF) for the development of new solar power projects in the country.

By 2030, the solar projects are expected to have a total power generation capacity between 150GW and 200GW.

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The concept for the development of the New Solar Energy Plan 2030 was launched last October, while PIF and SBVF intend to complete due diligence by the end of May this year.

Softbank Vision Fund chief executive Masayoshi Son said that the construction of the project is expected to begin this year with an initial $1bn investment financed by the joint Saudi-SoftBank Vision Fund, reported the Wall Street Journal.

“By 2030, the solar projects areexpected to have a total power generation capacity between 150GW and 200GW.”

Son added that the final investment involving the production and development of solar panels for the Saudi Arabian power project is expected to reach a total of $200bn by 2030, reported Reuters.

The New Solar Energy Plan has been designed to support the establishment of a new electricity generation company in the country.

By next year, PIF and SBVF aim to commission the first two solar generation projects with respective capacities of 3GW and 4.2GW in Saudi Arabia.

Under the terms of the current agreement, the two parties intend to explore the production and development of energy storage systems and create new joint ventures for research and development.

The MoU partners will also explore opportunities to establish solar and battery manufacturing ecosystems in the country.

The solar power projects are expected to generate up to 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, increase Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by $12bn and save up to $40bn every year.